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“Traumatics thick and fast:” goddamned “reality” shows

“Traumatics thick and fast:” goddamned “reality” shows published on 2 Comments on “Traumatics thick and fast:” goddamned “reality” shows

While watching/listening to some eps of Crowned, a mother/daughter pageant competition “reality” show, I realize all over again how screamingly manipulated these so-called “reality” shows are. If there’s an interview that appears before a suspenseful contest, that interview probably occurred way after said event. If there’s an interview where someone seems to make a nasty comment about someone else, that could have been taken out of context where someone was talking about a passing annoyance, rather than a deep animosity…or the interviewee could have been talking about the food served on the set, rather than any one person.

And the actual narration heightens the tension by making everything superlative, either positively or negatively. If there is a supervisor of a competition, the supervisor is the MOST talented and MOST well-renowned and MOST qualified, according to the announcer. If there are awards, they are the MOST significant and the MOST expensive.¬†Of course, if there’s an elimination, it’s always the most TRAUMATIC event ever, DEVASTATING to the losers, STUPENDOUS to the winners. Thus, tension and suspense are artificially created and maintained. Don’t get me started on the sappy music, which spells out what viewers should feel [“Feel sad DAMMIT! FEEL SAD!!!!”].

Also don’t get me started on the manufactured cattiness of Crowned, the lascivious camera angles, the enforced ditziness, the “cabana boys,” the lisping gay stereotypes, the profusion of male “experts” who for some reason supposedly know more about pageant stuff than the women who are actually in the pageants…

There’s no indictment of pageant culture here because there’s no real expose of it here. It’s just a purely formulaic “reality” show that shows the threadbare nature of the “reality” plots.

P.S. The quote is from Sweet Head by David Bowie: “Traumatics thick and fast / Your faith in me can last / Besides I’m known to lay you, one and all!!”

2 Comments

I have the unfortunate experience of being an innocent bystander in a situation like that. A christian company did interviews with my brother over how he felt over my parent’s divorce. They said they just wanted to show other teens that they aren’t alone in what they feel… Drew talked about me and made assumptions about how I felt- and even though I was THERE the same weekend they never even approached me to get my side of the story(Drew was 17 and I was 13). Anyway when we watched the video we were all shocked to see that it had been put together to make it look like my mother was physically and emotionally abusing us(which she NEVER did) instead of just a painful family experience. They even interspersed movie montages of a woman yelling and grabbing a knife from a drawer! (and it was some white lady, even though my brother is very obviously full asian. XD;;;) WTF!? To the credit of our youth group(who had agreed to let the place film at our camp) they were really shocked and appalled that the company took this so out of context. I don’t think they ever allowed filming again.

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